Last week we took the plunge and extracted honey from our bee hives. The bees have kept to themselves for the most part, since they came to the farm a few years ago. I grow flowers for them, and faithfully put out water for them every day. They chose this blue dog bowl as their favorite watering hole. So with much anticipation, we borrowed the necessary tools from our local bee association, and set out to see what the bees have been making in their hives.
The extraction site included buckets, a hot blade, an extraction tank with motor, towels, and a suit to visit the bees in. Here's the work area before we started.
My work included scraping the frames, spinning them in the extractor, and changing the bucket when it filled with honey. The frames have two sides of combs. Each side needed to be shaved with the hot blade to remove the wax cap over the honey filled cells. Once both sides were exposed, the frames went into the extraction tank.
The tank holds 4 frames. They rest in a big wire cage, so that when the extractor is turned on and spins, the honey drips down into the tank and comes out of the spigot.
We used a strainer to filter out any wax that make it through. The liquid gold was so beautiful as it poured out !! The last step was to put honey into smaller containers. Here's a picture of the final product.
The effort was really worth it. The honey tastes fantastic. I'll use it in my granola recipe and we will enjoy it in all kinds of other foods and recipes. Thanks honey bees !